Following the breakdown between Mr Kalonzo Musyoka and the coalition’s flagbearer Raila Odinga, former Kibwezi MP Philip Kaloki, a Wiper party member named as running mate for the Nairobi governor seat under the Azimio One Kenya Coalition, finds himself in a bind.
Prof Kaloki was appointed as Mr Polycarp Igathe’s deputy in a deal arranged by Mr Musyoka after Mr Odinga won the coalition’s presidential ticket.
But it’s uncertain whether he’ll be a victim of Mr Musyoka’s feud with Mr Odinga over the former vice president’s choice of Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua as Mr Odinga’s running partner, a position he had maintained was his.
Mr Musyoka severed connections with Mr Odinga yesterday, withdrawing his support for his presidential campaign and announcing his intention to run for president.
Mr Musyoka visited his allies at his campaign headquarters, announced his presidential ambition, and presented his running mate, Mr Andrew Sunkuli, as Mr Odinga was revealing Ms Karua at KICC.
Mr Igathe was accompanied by Prof Kaloki to Mr Odinga’s campaign gathering at Kamukunji grounds in Nairobi on Sunday, which Mr Musyoka ignored.
Prof Kaloki disobeyed the former vice-invitation president’s and arrived at KICC yesterday, putting Mr Musyoka in a sticky situation.
Although Mr Musyoka stated that he split with Mr Odinga to avoid depreciating the numerous Wiper candidates running across the nation, commentators believe that the move could mean doom for some of the party’s candidates, including Prof Kaloki, whose long political career has been marked by disasters.
Prof Kaloki, a scholar who spent many years teaching at a university in the United States, made his political debut when he returned home quietly in the run-up to the 2007 General Election. When he defeated then-Kibwezi MP Kalembe Ndile in that election, he shot to national prominence.
He ran for governor of Makueni on a Wiper ticket at the time of devolution, but lost to governor Kivutha Kibwana. He accused Mr Musyoka of betraying him in low tones.
When Senator Mutula Kilonzo died in office three months later, Prof Kaloki ran for the seat on a Narc ticket but lost to Mutula Kilonzo Jnr. When he ran for the Kibwezi East parliamentary seat on a Jubilee ticket in 2017, he was defeated by Wiper’s Jessica Mbalu.
Mr Musyoka convinced Prof Kaloki to drop out of the Makueni governorship election and run in Nairobi as a running mate for Jubilee’s Richard Ngatia, claiming that he wanted to improve his party’s prospects of winning the governorship through Mr Kilonzo.
“Prof Kaloki and Mr Kilonzo Jr. were both excellent possibilities. He said a week ago that their competition would have cost the party. Professor Kaloki and his followers applauded the decision. They believed it would bring an end to the turmoil that has marked Prof Kaloki’s political career.
When Jubilee dismissed businessman Richard Ngatia as its Nairobi governorship candidate, their hearts skipped a beat. Prof Kaloki was promptly reinstalled as the deputy governor designate following crisis negotiations in Azimio.
When Mr Musyoka left Azimio, they skipped a beat once more.